Football

Roy Keane Launches Staunch Defence Of Glenn Whelan

Roy Keane Launches Staunch Defence Of Glenn Whelan

Of all the players to pull on the green jersey over the last 10 years, Glenn Whelan has undoubtedly been one of the most maligned.

Fans and pundits - most notably Eamon Dunphy - have failed to recognise Whelan's contribution to the Irish team. It has been said before that Whelan is the type of player you appreciate more when he isn't there rather than when he is - a master of the unseen work.

Whelan made his Ireland debut nine years ago under Giovanni Trapattoni and has continued to man his station through the Martin O'Neill years. He now has 81 caps to his name.

Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday ahead of Ireland's World Cup qualifiers against Georgia and Serbia, Roy Keane, quoted by the Irish Mirror, made the case for Whelan's defence.

The type of player Glenn is, you're always open to some sort of criticism but it's part of the game.

Because they are not pretty on the eye, a lot of people like to follow the crowd. Glenn doesn't fall into the media spin, doesn't wear fancy coloured boots.

People pick up on all that sort of thing. Glenn is clever enough and old enough not to take too much notice.

Glenn might get a bit more credit when his career is over and I mean that in the nicest way.

81 caps? You have to have something about you to get that many caps.

But the beauty about Glenn Whelan is he’s here, always here. Talking about the modern footballer, Glenn Whelan is always here and available for selection.

We turn up here a lot of times with lads who aren’t here or lads who are carrying knocks. I don’t ever remember Glenn Whelan sitting here and saying is he not fit or carrying a knock.

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Keane suggested that Whelan's position on the field, a sitting midfielder, is a role which lends itself to criticism - people 'think they need to do more'.

People will analyse what Glenn doesn't do but sometimes you have to focus on what the player does do well.

That might be the dirty stuff in a game or they are more team players than other players. Is there stuff that Glenn can improve on and be better, of course.

He's a good team player, he's always available, shows courage looking for the ball when sometimes a lot of players don't want to get on it.

He will never get you a goal and probably doesn't get many assists but when you're a sitting midfielder it's hard to do that stuff because you're protecting your back four.

Picture credit: Sportsfile

See Also: Ex-Man United Striker Declares Desire To Play For Ireland

PJ Browne
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